Bob ’til you drop


Laurens – Hi there, here’s one from the Land of the Dutch. About a year or so ago I picked up the plan to build me a hard tailed XS. When looking for a cheap donor bike I came across this kick only ’79er. Basically it already looked mostly the way you see it here and was offered for a reasonable price. The owner had built it almost the way I intended to do myself. He had welded the hard tail section himself and most what you see here was already there and it seemed to run okay too. Unfortunately it had poorly done ugly bright yellow on black tribal flames on the tank and fender. Also it was built with too many chromed cheap parts and sloppy painting but since I could ride it home immediately instead of building it from scratch (which would probably take me two years) I was sold when I saw it.


After the first rides there was lots of tinkering. It is my first XS so it took me some time, sweat and swearing plus pushing the machine home several times to find out that the rotor was broken and it would only run for a short while until the battery was dead. Meanwhile during the short rides it did run, I lost my licence plate, tail light, one muffler, many bolts and had practically everything shaken loose… including my teeth. So I pulled it half apart and rebolted everything securely with loads of lock tight. Made a new licence plate bracket and installed a nicer tail light. Chopped the wide handlebar to half its width. Lowered the risers and replaced and redid some wiring here and there and some small stuff overall. Eventually installed the satchel on the side too so I could bring much needed tools and spare parts along. (already had the tool roll too but that didn’t suffice 🙂

This winter I removed the ugly tribal crap and painted it all stone grey (the color doesn’t really show well on these pics btw). I’m still thinking of what to paint on the sides of the tank, or perhaps just add a simple single pinstripe but that will come in time. I also had the ugly cheap seat redone by Miller Kustom Upholstery whom I can recommend to everyone. The brown seat matches the grey paint super nicely.


Now it’s getting closer to the look I had in mind but there’s still quite a few things I want to change/ remove/ add. For instance the front end: I’m not a fan of springer forks and I’d like to clean up the handlebar so I might look into that soon.

Anyway, it’s nothing super spectacular and it’s not my dream bike or anything but it sure is a fun bike. I’ll definitely build me a perfect one someday but for now I’m enjoying and riding the hell out of this bone shaker.



  1. Grumpy says:

    I like it the way it is!! Great looking bike

  2. Jon says:

    Hi Laurens, nice bike! Hey I’ll trade you regular forks off of a 1971 for that springer:)

  3. Nick says:

    I have 1978 front end ill trade you for that springer! Ill pay the shipping costs!

  4. Laurens says:

    Thanks everyone!

    Haha, yeah I bet you’d all want to trade for a regular fork 🙂 I’ll consider when any of you throw in a donor frame and engine too 😉

  5. Nick says:

    Hahaha fair enough! Worth a shot! Great lookin bike man!

  6. owen says:

    hey laurs
    how did you attach the bag on the side ?

  7. Laurens says:

    Hey owen,

    I found a rubber lined heating pipe clamp that I slightly adjusted so I could bolt the bag to it. Then attached the clamp to the frame. Works pretty well.

  8. owen says:

    thats a great idea, i also have a problem with charging, must ceck the rotor, glad i read your comment’s, ill stick up a pick if i ever get the thing goin good enough, its a 72 :/

  9. We did a lot of mods on a DNA Springer. You may have seen it on this site. Its on the ‘Rigids’ page on our site; If you have the means to do some fabrication/welding the Springers are easy to customize. Our DNA has all the forks clad in larger diam. tubing, the top spring mount cut and shaped. The bike has a 200mm tire on the front so the Springer would look too skinny without the alterations.
    I remember when the Harley Springer Softail model in 1989 came out and no one wanted the front end.
    Dealers where changing them out to wide glides, mostly because of the goofy fender and h/light.

  10. Marc says:

    Als je deze ooit zat wordt Laurens… let me know! Hele strakke fiets!!

  11. Garry says:

    That’s so cool .
    I’d swap you a nice longer set of forks from a late model Honda which are in my xs650 now . It’s setup with a heaps wider set of forks and billet triple clamps . They take a 21″ Harley front wheel. Pity you’re so far away . The postage would be so much….

  12. Alejandro Vignola says:

    jaw dropping! DAMN!

  13. Pim says:

    Hoi, met you last Saturday at the Twin Club, did you get it going again ?
    This is really a beautiful bike !! And a very clean build !

  14. Laurens says:

    Thanks Marc. Ik sta altijd open voor een goed bod! 🙂

  15. Laurens says:

    Hey! thx 🙂
    Were you the one who was looking into building a bobber too?

    Yes, I drove it home eventually, it took a while to get it running again. But I can’t take any of the credits for that. The guys at the club knew and helped so much, I had no idea how to fix the electronics.
    The regulator was completely molten because it was built into that small battery box. Didn’t have space/ air to cool down and so it overheated, taking down the battery too which was all bloated and leaking. Luckily the wiring was unharmed and so a new regulator and battery solved it.
    Here’s a tip: place the regulator where it is air cooled 🙂

  16. Pim says:

    Hi Laurens, yep I was the one. You was going to show me the open pipes and let me hear how they sounded …
    Sorry to hear that it took so long to get it running again. But if there is a place where you want something like this to happen it surely is in front of the clubhouse !

    Good tip about the regulator, tnx !

  17. Laurens says:

    yep, that was a bit of luck 🙂 Also happy that I’ve learned something.

    good luck with the build! Show it here when it’s done!